Text: Jonah 3
ill. Biblical Garden - Yad Hoshmena
Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
def. repent - to think differently, reconsider
exp. A simple explanation....
"Repentance is a change of heart that leads to a change in the direction of life."
ill. A whiny fussy child who repents (perhaps with encouragement from the parent,) decides they are going to have a sweet spirit and a right attitude. THEY CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOUR.
note: A child has to repent of disobedience to authority and rightly submit to that authority.
point 2 - If they don't they will face discipline from their authority.
exp. The same is true with all authorities - educational, civil, work place.....
exp. WE SIN AGAINST GOD. WE MUST GET RIGHT WITH OUR AUTHORITY
.... or risk his wrath.
Repentance is both for the ungodly (the lost) and for the church (believers).
note: The command
- Jesus commanded the churches to repent where they are wrong.
ill. Our family is enjoying reading through Revelation in our devotions..... the 7 churches....
Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Rev 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Rev 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Rev 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. (ecclesiastical fornication - spiritual adultery)
Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
exp. Believers and churches CAN BEGIN TO THINK WRONGLY, and need repentance. (They need to get back under the headship of Jesus and agree with Him - or judgment will come.)
- Jesus commanded the ungodly to repent. (They are thinking wrongly.)
Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
exp. When the church began - A GOSPEL OF REPENTANCE WAS PREACHED.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Act 17:30-31 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
exp. Our world's thinking is contrary to Christ. JUDGMENT IS COMING unless they repent.
text: Jonah 3
- The people needing to repent - are the Ninevites
- Nineveh was a wicked city
ill. I remember a teacher in college saying that they dismembered their enemies and put their body parts in piles around the city.
- Jonah had obviously been hurt by their wickedness against Israel, perhaps personally....
THEY NEEDED TO REPENT - THEY WEREN'T WRONG WITH GOD
- JUDGMENT WAS COMING.
THE CITY OF NINEVEH IS A GREAT PICTURE OF BIBLICAL REPENTENCE.
TRUTH - God repents of evil against man when man repents of evil against God.
Jonah 3:10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
Be wise and repent BEFORE judgment comes.
Are you submitted to agreeing with God in your mind? If not - you need to repent.
I. Listen to God.
ill. Our world has sadly gotten far away from listening to God.
ill. BBC - September, 2017: The number of Scots who say they are not religious has risen to almost three quarters, according to new research.
Just under a quarter (23.6%) said they were religious, while 72.4% said they were not, figures released by Humanist Society Scotland showed.
This was up from a similar poll in 2011 when 56% said they were not religious while 35% said they were.
- Government thinks that they are the answer to man's need and they don't need God.
- Climate activists think that they are the answer to man's need and they don't need God.
- Economist and Doctors think that they are the answer to man's need and not God.
exp. The education system, social media and society are teaching men TO THINK contrary to God.
NOTE: There are many false churches teaching people TO THINK contary to God.
exp. People are living in a Nineveh like culture - wicked, careless, ignorant of God.
question: What will bring you (mankind) to repentence in our day? You need to LISTEN TO GOD.
A. Recognize that God gave you a message.
exp. Jonah was God's MERCY - God in mercy sends preachers to WARN of coming judgment.
1. He sends his message to you through preachers.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,
2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city,
exp. The compassion of God was great for this wicked city. He wasn't excited about judgment.
HE SENT A PREACHER TO TELL THEM OF COMING JUDGMENT.
Ill. How could a loving God send people to Hell? (sin brings death and hell - man chose sin)
"How could a loving God let sin into Heaven?" (Instead - He sent His Son to us.)
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
GOD WANTS ALL MEN TO REPENT AND BE SPARED HIS JUDGMENT.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
app. The church has been given the command to get this message to the world. Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
2. He sends his message to you through divine appointments.
3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. 4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey,
exp. Commentary's agree that Nineveh was a region - perhaps 3/4 cities were involved and Jonah would travel between each one preaching his message. God divinely put Jonah where people heard.
ill. I like the term, "divine appointment." I've seen God give some wonderful divine appointments.
ill. Just this past week - I bumped into a man and he said, "This is like the 4th time...."
ill. I have had conversation with people to whom I say, "It's no accident that I'm speaking to you." They acknowledge the same.
hymn lyrics - God's final call.
Someday you’ll hear God’s Final Call to you
To take his offer of salvation true-
This could be it my friend if you but knew-
God’s Final Call, God’s Final Call
app. Recognize that God gave you a message. LISTEN TO HIM.
B. Rejoice if God's messenger is true to God's Word.
exp. Whatever you hear preached today - you ought to back it up with the Word of God.
ill. Catholics - ought to ask - where in the Bible is....
- Pergatory - a temporary hell.
- Praying to Mary
- Pedo baptism
- Confessing sin to a priest
- Salvation by doing good works.
Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
1. It ought to be, "Thus saith the Lord."
...and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
exp. Jonah didn't have to come up with a message - all He had to do was say, "God says...."
ill. Moses - God's mouthpiece
Exo 4:22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD
Exodus 8:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD,
Exo 9:13 And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
exp. Moses said, "Thus saith the Lord...."
Exo 10:3 And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.
exp. Jonah - PREACH UNTO IT THE PREACHING THAT I BID THEE!
ill. In our day - churches are preaching a message that....
- the gov. bid them, society bid them, financial profit bid them, they bid themselves....
app. We want to see people repent. The message they need to hear is THUS SAITH THE LORD.
2. It ought to be a controversial message of coming judgment.
4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.
exp. Remember - repentance is needed when authority is disobeyed and judgment is coming.
SPEAKING ABOUT JUDGMENT IS CONTROVERSIAL.
ill. Jesus always preached, "Thus saith the LORD...."
exp. His controversial message would be received in our day with the same hatred with which it was received in His day.
Mark 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
note: If it's not a controversial message, it's not a message from God to repent. Jesus - Luk 5:32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (You must confront their sin.)
app. If you need to repent today - you had better thank God for the person who loved you enough to confront you in your sin.
THEY SHOWED YOU GOD'S MESSAGE AND HOW YOU WERE GOING AGAINST GOD.
transition: The first step to repentance is LISTENING TO GOD.
II. Believe what God says.
5 So the people of Nineveh believed God,...
note: THE CLOCK WAS TICKING - they had 40 days before God's wrath would fall.
exp. If nothing happened in their lives, you would wonder if they really believed God.
ill. Apostle Paul testifying of his preaching - Act 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
exp. If you are TURNING TO GOD - make it obvious! (God is observing.)
A. Restrain your flesh.
5 ...and proclaimed a fast,
exp. The first thing they did when they believed God is they called for pleasure to cease.
note: There are some things more important that eating and drinking to sustain life.
app. In our day - SEEKING GOD - set aside some PLEASURE - fast in your diet, in your entertainment, in your pursuits - LET GOD KNOW THAT HE IS THE MAIN THING.
B. Humble your flesh.
5 ...and put on sackcloth,
ill. Biblical Garden - Yad Hoshmena - Jewish man tearing his clothes....outward sign of grief.....
Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
exp. The inside is what is important - but it's ok - to SHOW A BIT OF HUMILITY.
app. Fom some that humbling may be getting to church, opening a Bible, letting it be known that you are SEEKING GOD'S MERCY.
C. Submit your flesh.
...from the greatest of them even to the least of them.
6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.
exp. Praise God - this city turned to God as one - every person decided to SUBMIT themselves.
7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:
8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth,
ill. Can you imagine what this was like - the SNP announcing a national day of prayer, The conservative Gov of the UK - saying, "Everyone get on your face before God." (Fast and pray!)
exp. Repentance will not come if men do not believe - but when they believe they will submit!
ill. In Ninevah - MEN BELIEVED and you could see it.
In Noah's day - MEN DID NOT BELIEVE - and you saw them live life as normal.
Jesus - Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
app. Our world does not believe God - DO YOU. If you do, it will be evident in your life in restraining your flesh, humbling your flesh and submitting your flesh. (If it is not there - FAITH IS NOT THERE.) Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
III. Cry out to God.
transition: They listened to God - BELIEVED GOD, and cried out to God.
A. Cry out with passion.
8 ...and cry mightily unto God:
exp. These were not prayers like, "Now I lay me down in peace and sleep, I pray thee Lord my soul to keep...." These were desperate cries from eyes full of tears begging God for mercy.
ill. Woman pleading with extinction rebellion (insulate Britain) - to visit her mum in hospital. "Please, please let me through....my 80 year old mum...."
app. We live in a day of something called, "Easy believism" - pray this prayer and you are saved - NO REPENTANCE - NO BROKENESS - NO PASSION. Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
B. Cry out with pursuit.
8 ...yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, (They were persuing God's mercy.)
exp. They knew that GOD'S WRATH WAS COMING BECAUSE OF THEIR SIN. (Wrong path.)
Ephesians 4:25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
exp. It does not matter today what this preacher thinks about YOUR SIN - your entertainment, your music, your activities, your thoughts....WHAT MATTERS IS WHAT DOES GOD THINK?
app. If you are going to really pursue God's mercy - CHANGE PATHS!
C. Cry out with purifying.
8 ...and from the violence that is in their hands.
exp. Their hands were dirty - they couldn't seek God with filthy hands. They need cleansing!
Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
ill. 1904 Welsh Revival - In one the of the populous valleys... young men and women walked in procession through the streets, singing hymns and visiting public houses to invite.. [those inside] to come to the revival. Many of the places were completely deserted and others had their trade depleted... In one such drinking place there was one solitary customer sitting gloomily alone.... Suddenly the evening air was rent with the jubilant voices of happy songsters, just outside the door. So infuriated were the man and woman in charge at the audacity of these zealous youths that they picked up some of the empty ale-pots... and flung them recklessly among the happy throng. Disgusted with the conduct of his host and hostess, the solitary figure... rose from his seat, joined the enthusiastic processionists, then went with them to the church, there to surrender to Christ!(3)
The bars were not the only places to be emptied. Dance halls, theaters, and football matches all saw a dramatic decline in attendance. The courts and jails were deserted and the police found themselves without any work to do. The story is told of policemen who closed their station and formed a choir to sing at the Revival meetings. Long-standing debts were repaid, church and family feuds were healed and a new unity of purpose was felt across the denominational divides.
app. If you are serious about crying out to God - GET RID OF UNCLEANESS!
NOTE: When Biblical repentance takes place THERE WILL BE PURIFYING - AS MEN AND WOMEN CRY OUT TO GOD! (WITH PURITY, PURSUIT AND PASSION.)
Transition: Listen to God, Believe what God says, Cry out to God....
IV. Depend fully upon God.
ill. When revival took place among the American Indians under the preaching of David Brainard - several converts would struggle to believe that God would forgive them - IT WAS INTERESTING to see that they came to faith willing to let God either spare them or justly condemn them to hell.
app. They cast themselves in dependence fully upon God.
A. Trust His judgment.
9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
exp. Jonah's message was not MY MESSAGE THIS MORNING. Jonah's message was not on repentance - his message was only that judgment was coming.
note: The Ninevites response was one that believed that GOD MAY BE MERCIFUL TO THEM.
THEY TRUSTED HIS JUDGMENT.
ill. Moses pleaded God's mercy MANY TIMES for the disobedient children of Israel.
Num 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
19 Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.
20 And the LORD said, I have pardoned according to thy word:
app. I encourage you this morning - God is merciful. Are you willing to trust God's judgment?
(Do you agree with him against your sin? Are you turning in faith to Him?)
B. Trust His observance.
10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way;
exp. God was aware not just of the outward repentance but of their heart belief.
ill. As the Prophet Samuel sought the next King for Israel - 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
exp. As a preacher - I can't see you heart but God can. I can't tell if you are sincere in your belief. Repentance is agreeing with God - IT TAKES PLACE IN THE HEART.
app. Those who are sincere this morning, can trust in the God who see the outward repentance and inward belief.
C. Trust His nature.
10 ...and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
exp. God did what God wanted to do. He stayed his judgment and gave them mercy. (
note: He didn't condone their sin - THEY GOT RID OF THEIR SIN AND REPENTED.
ill. Jonah didn't want to come to Ninevah because Jonah knew the nature of God.
exp. He wanted God to destroy Ninevah for their wicked violence against the Jewish people.
Jonah 4:1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.
3 Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.
4 Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?
exp. Jonah was wrong to want God to destroy wicked people.
app. If you don't want God's mercy for this world - you don't have the heart of God.
A child who needs to repent - is going to have a tough time until they submit to authority.
- THEY HAVE TO CHANGE THEIR MIND AND AGREE OR JUDGMENT IS COMING.
Where are you today in your walk with God?
IF YOUR MIND DOES NOT AGREE WITH GOD - YOU NEED TO REPENT.
Listen to God. (His messenger - his message.... thus saith the Lord, controversial judgment....)
Believe what God says. (Restrain, humble and submit your flesh.)
Cry out to God. (passionately, in pursuit of his way, with purifying....)
Depend fully upon God. (His judgment, His observance, His mercy.)